We are all going to die. Probably. Anyway, the last few weeks have been crazy exciting or crazy boring. We decided to head for Lavisar, with was the ‘Ends Justifies’ was eventually going. We got there well ahead of it and were able to make some preparations for it’s arrival. At first we had to cement our cover as innocent traders here to sell stuff, so we tried to offload the starship metal we picked up for just such a purpose. Unfortunately, nobody knew anyone out here and we wound up in the general market place, and they tried to rip us off, 750cr a unit! Ridiculous! We just decided to hold onto it.
Zird set up a meet with some local information broker at this awesome Zero-G dance club! It was great dancing on the ceiling of a heavy gravity world. I doubt I could go back again without getting swarmed from my newfound fame. I’d have to take Hussk along as a bodyguard. Zird, Doc and Oz got a list of ships going out to that weird point in space, which turns out to be a ship race track! Turns out the big entertainment around here is an annual big shuttle race, that would be fun. The big one would be for a few more months, but a smaller one was coming up in two weeks. Since our quarry wasn’t showing up for at least four, I figured I could probably get in on that one.
Before that could happen though, we looked through the data from the info broker and discovered a massive spike in ships heading out to the race track about the time the ‘Ends Justifies’ should be arriving. There were twenty oddly designated lambda shuttles going out there. At present, they were all stored in a shipyard. We decided to check them out. Oz, Doc and I waited outside in the rented truck for a quick get-away. Zird, Valayne, and Hussk went to check it out. They were in there for hours. Apparently they had some trouble locating the ships in the massive parking lot. Maybe me or Oz should’ve gone in to show them how ships are parked. Oh well. They eventually found them and discovered that they had special environmentally sealed holds with independent rear doors. They were designed to take a bunch of people, of varying environmental needs between secure locations.
Zird installed some awesome hack into them so that they would tell us where they were and even shoot us all the internal video they were recording when we asked for it. Once that was done, they vandalized a bunch of the other ships to cover why the place was broken into. Once that was done, it was just a matter of waiting. That was boring for the most part, until the race, that was awesome.
Since you needed to fly a lambda shuttle in the race, I had to find someone who had one who needed a pilot. We found a company that sponsors a ship and I convinced them that I could pilot it for them. It was really shaky, so I asked if my mechanic could look it over and tune it up. He was fine with that as long as his mechanic was there as well. Oz fixed that ship up beautifully and had it humming as good as new. Valayne volunteered to be my co-pilot, and we turned a lot of heads when we showed up race day. Most of the other pilots were working men, and weren’t used to seeing such lovely ladies come to compete. We smiled and waved at them as we climbed aboard our bright green ship. I’m still not sure exactly what the company does that sponsored us, something about boodaling porncas or something. I was going to look it up, but then forgot. Some sort of local slang maybe, porncas could be some sort of native life form. Oh well. Something to do with Twi’leks though…
As for the race itself, Valayne and I left everyone else in the dust! It was spectacular! We set a new record for that race, and did it with some style. When we landed, Hussk had done some dealing and set up an autograph opportunity for people to come see Valayne and I. It was great that he had such faith in our success. We had hundreds of people in line for our pictures and autographs, and we raked in a ton of credits from that! I need to send the race footage along with the next credit drop to Tena, maybe I’m in the wrong business, I should become a professional racer! Hussk even gave us ‘racer’ names to use, that was probably a good idea, mine was Tamalya and Valayne was Sarasha. One guy tried to get a little to friendly and Hussk had to intervene, luckily everyone else was much nicer, they were all very friendly. After that Valayne got a deal to sell our metal for a bit better price, all she had to do was pose for a poster of the company for them to hang in their lobby. That was pretty cool for her.
The ‘Ends Justifies’ showed up on schedule and we watched as they loaded up the twenty shuttles and then shot out farther into rimspace. Now we were following them again, and wouldn’t know where they were until they reprogrammed new destinations into those shuttles somewhere they had holo-net access. We decided to head out in that same general direction, just to make a smaller jump later once we got that update. We tried to pick up some heavy metal for selling, but they wanted a special license. Even after we got one of those, it was awful expensive, and we didn’t know what market we might find, so we decided against it. Instead Zird took 1000 credits and came back with something that he loaded into the smuggling compartment. Then we set off for Mandalore!
Two weeks later we arrived at some backwards, crappy, unconnected planet thanks to Oz’s calculations, so we tried again. Another two weeks later and we arrived at Mandalore. I don’t think Oz likes this place on some sort of subconscious level. We didn’t even land though, as soon as we dropped out of hyperspace, we got five messages from the ships from Boonta. Fuel levels were still good, so we headed for Boonta.
We found the ship waiting there. They were using the shuttles to bring prisoners up from a Hutt correctional facility. One of the off-duty guards told us that the Empire had offered 100 credits a head for any ‘undesirable’ they didn’t want for work purposes. We knew that ship had to be getting full, and their next jump may not be to a holo-net node. We had to get better information on where they were going next. So, we devised a plan.
We bought a new mouse droid and an astromech head and while Oz shoved the one inside the other, Zird planted bugs on any shore-leave personnel he could. Turns out that was mostly maintenance people and a few security guards, but anything was better than nothing. Meanwhile, Oz burned out the first droid head and Hussk had to go buy another one. That one worked and we programmed it to collect the bug recordings and store them until we sent a ping code for it to send them. Then we had it roll aboard one of their normal shuttles and up it went to the ship.
As a test run, we strapped some equipment to a rock and threw it past the ship, in range of the droid, then caught it again on the other side. With some fancy flying from yours truly, it worked like a charm. We tried again as their last shore-leave shuttle was returning, but my aim wasn’t quite so good that time. We had to do a fly-by ourselves, and pinged the info just as it was jumping out. Turns out they were headed for Kessel and the Maw.
We reported in to the Family that we were heading that way, and they gave us an account number and a drop location to do a spice run since we were going there. After that, we headed for Kessel. That was chaos. The presence of an Imperial frigate and corvette was sending everyone into a tizzy. We got reports from the shuttles, showing a route into the Maw, and video of them unloading hundreds of their prisoners. We spotted three Chiss among them, two women and a man. We couldn’t make out any more than that though. Hopefully one of them is Valyane’s sister. We just sat tight, watched and waited. When they were done, the ships vanished back into hyperspace.
Now was our chance… A secret facility buried deep inside the Maw that couldn’t get a signal out? That sounded like much better odds. I hope. We followed the path through the Maw, and it was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever done. After every microjump we came out balance between swirling vortexes of utter destructive nothingness, at the last jump we paused and discussed options. Once we jumped in, we were set, no more turning back, no more second chances. We jumped.
On the other side was a few small asteroids sitting in the Lagrange point of two massive black holes. Everything was back lit by the tearing apart of cosmic matter as these natural engines of destruction tore at the fabric of the universe, fighting each other to rip us to subatomic particles. We were the only ones in position to save the 1200 prisoners sitting on the brink of destruction, and we have no idea what stands in our way on that secret Imperial base. This will be one heck of a story to tell, if we’re still around to tell it.